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13 November 2014

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You are in: Essex > Faith > Sacred Spaces > Church of Saint Nicholas

Outside of Norman church & churchyard

Church of St Nicholas, Little Braxted

Church of Saint Nicholas

A tiny Essex church with amazing and unique decor opens its doors to the public as part of local Heritage open days.

The pretty Church of St Nicholas in Little Braxted was built in 1120.  The outside of the building is unusual, with a pretty circular section, but it's the decoration inside that takes the breath away.

Various alterations and extensions to the original building were added over the centuries but from 1730 until 1856 it had no rector and fell into disrepair.

Inside norman church with vaulted beam ceiling, altar and stained glass window

Inside the beautiful building

The church was restored and brought back to life in the second half of the 19th century, and when the Reverend Ernest Geldart became the rector in 1881 he embarked on a series of unique paintings to decorate the interior.

The Revd Geldart was an artist and architect and his intricate murals, which show scenes from the bible, cover almost every surface inside the church.

The scenes include a painting of Bethlehem with Christ, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds, a picture of St John the Baptist preaching and a painting depicting the Creed.

Biblical mural between two stained glass windows

19th Century mural by Revd Geldart

Other decoration includes symbols, patterns and Latin inscriptions.

The church is small and homely with room for just 64 people in the pews.

Church warden Pam Booker says the paintings and decoration gives the church a great atmosphere.

"It feels like a home almost. Doing a service when the candles are lit, it has a lovely spiritual feel about it that we all appreciate."

Stained glass window of St Nicholas

Stained glass window of St Nicholas

The walls were cleaned and restored in 1992 and the colours are still amazing.

This little gem of a church is tucked away in a beautiful setting and could easily be missed, but it is only half a mile from junction 22 on the A12.

The Church of St Nicholas is open most days with a weekly service.

It is well worth a visit!

last updated: 15/04/2009 at 11:46
created: 04/09/2008

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